10 Monday AM Reads

Back to work with our bleary-eyed, post World Series morning train reads:

• A Dozen Things I’ve Learned from Charlie Munger  (25iq)
• Your Brain Is Primed To Reach False Conclusions  (Fivethirtyeight)
• It’s hard to believe today, but 10 years ago Wikipedia was widely considered a doomed experiment (cdixon)
• The Republicans are right. We in the media do suck. (Washington Post)
• Rising Temperatures Kick-Start Subarctic Farming In Alaska (NPRbut see Cod’s Continuing Decline Linked to Warming Gulf of Maine Waters (NYT)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Mario Gabelli of GAMCO.

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  1. Iamthe50percent commented on Nov 2

    Re: “Your brain is primed…” Lucky ties, rabbit’s feet et cetera. OTOH, just because Correlation is not Causality, it doesn’t follow that correlation does not imply causality. I suspect that the time sequence reals is more often causal than unrelated. That’s because the brain is wired that way. If it’s a bad wiring, evolution would (or should) have removed it. It has to be correct more often than not or it would be anti-survival. “Just because Og stepped off the cliff and fell to his death doesn’t mean that it’s not safe to step off the cliff.” OTOH “Og was wearing those beads the shaman blessed and the sabre tooth missed him. Maybe I should wear those magic beads too.”

    • VennData commented on Nov 2

      “It has to be correct more often than not or it would be anti-survival.”

      How do you explain Republican voters then?

    • Iamthe50percent commented on Nov 2

      They have survived. Survival is not a beauty contest. Roundworms have also survived and prospered. After Man, the most successful mammal is the Norway Rat with whom we have a symbiotic relationship. I wonder if Paul Ryan shaves his whiskers?

    • rd commented on Nov 2

      Depending on what it is, it often doesn’t have to be correct more often than not. Think about how often you have been woken by a strange sound and you got up to investigate. There is a good chance, that nothing ever significant had happened when you looked. That is not anti-survival, because you haven’t lost anything but a few minutes of recuperable sleep. Anti-survival is when you stop investigating because of the perceived “cost”and then you find out that your house caught on fire but you didn’t react.

  2. romerjt commented on Nov 2

    For yrs we’ve made “fish-runs” to Portland, Portsmouth or Gloucester and freeze (8-10) portions in vacuum bags b/c it’s the only way I can get consistently good fish. It’s “locally” sourced, including Canada / Nova Scotia – we buy haddock, scallops, swordfish, flounder and, halibut (a giant flounder – the best).
    The cod are gone but lobsters are at record levels b/c the cod eat the baby lobsters. Last year the tiny Maine shrimp catch was zero. The good news is the Maine coastal water scallop season opens Dec 1 for about 3 months which means you can get real “day boat” fresh scallops. Note that boats that get scallops further off shore can actually be out for a week. The scallops are removed from the shells and stored on ice until the boat gets back and take on water which you may have seen in the pan when you cooked them. See here for better expl. http://www.mainedayboatscallops.com/
    Also coming up is the Nantucket Bay scallop season (hopefully) and they are NOTHING like the bay scallops in the supermarket. They are the best and very pricey @ over $30/lb last year.
    You don’t need research papers to see the profound effect of climate change in the Gulf of Maine . . what a shame.

  3. rd commented on Nov 2

    I think HSBC is missing a brilliant opportunity here. It has been considering returning to Hong Kong for its headquarters, but is concerned that the Chinese government may actually put the communist back in the Communist Party sometime. However, it should be watching China’s lead very carefully on some other actions.

    HSBC has the opportunity to simply hire a dredging firm and build its own country to warehouse its HQ so that it no longer needs to be a nomadic capitalist seeking out the ultimate banker’s paradise. You just find some shallow water somewhere outside a claimed territorial water and build your own country. This way China ceases to be a problem because it will want to defend your right to do this, although you would have to put up with the occasional US destroyer cruising by.

    You can pick a location with the perfect climate for young bikini clad women to keep your bankers from moving on to competitors, you get to make your own laws (reduces the operating costs of having to own and operate all of those legislatures around the world), and you will no longer be doing illegal transfers of drug, arms, and tax-evasion money because your paradise will simply be a tax-free haven by definition, as it will simply be operated by the corporation (GOP and Supreme Court – eat your heart out).

    • willid3 commented on Nov 2

      course you have to ‘hire’ your own military, or maybe out source to some country that will do it cheap (down side to this is they wont be very good at it. but they will work cheap).

      course then you need a police force and a fire department.
      or maybe you just combine them all into one contract/organization.
      be the ultimate in company owned housing with a country attached

    • rd commented on Nov 2

      That’s what Academi (formerly Blackwater) is for. Heck, not even the State Department used the US military in Iraq.

    • willid3 commented on Nov 2

      hey that would work, and you can skip the court system, who needs one of those, and you really dont need a financial system. so why would you need money? after all, that just means workers could leave. and you might have to pay them more. so just use electronic version of company script, only usable at the company ‘store’ for living expenses. you could also set it up so that the only to ‘join’ the company is using company provided ‘transportation’.

  4. VennData commented on Nov 2

    Russian plane crash in Egypt: Airline blames ‘external influence’


    Russian planes are unique. Bernoulli’s equation have their own unique way about them now Western and not Eastern but Russian. Russian airlines must protect Russians. And we must make sure to get some rubles into the hands of a widow to say something that would get the people’s minds off Obama and the West’s unfair sanctions.

    The Latest: Co-pilot’s wife: He complained about plane


    Given that this is the first time ever a commercial plane has had any problems under Putin’s fair, just, and 90%-approved rule.


    • rd commented on Nov 2

      A classic landslide. It looks like the toe are has probably been moving for a while, but nobody really noticed. That allows for a “progressive” failure that gets bigger until the conditions are right and the big cracks form. This is very common in stiff-fissured clays – Great Britain had some failures like this that would occur up to a century after a slope was cut to install a railroad.


  5. VennData commented on Nov 2

    Soon your Apple Watch will know more than you do


    Don’t read your watch’s comments.

    And for heaven’s sake don’t give it your email. Or it will present you with the data that contradict your deep-seated, since-childhood-held beliefs.

    Don’t argue with it. Demand that it keep quiet. If you do get into an argument see BR’s rules above.

    And support stringent GOP-led voter suppression rules so that your watch’s vote doesn’t cancel yours out and we get some policy-focused technocrat who uses science and data to run government.

  6. VennData commented on Nov 2

    Orange County Register owner files for bankruptcy


    Here’s what you send to all the genuflectors who forward the email on the OBAMACARE CO-OPS!!!

    Sometimes things don’t work. At least half of the ACA co-ops are still operating, Not so for the worst newspaper in American the completely whacked out Orange County Register.

    • VennData commented on Nov 2

      I totally disagree! American’s are unique, different people the greatest country on earth! And you need to stop berating us with gotcha questions! Americans want freedom, they want to tear down the system (except for the exact way Visa and Mastercard dominate epayments) If you don’t like America. That’s YOUR problem.

      – Payments Systems lobbyist.

    • just-sayin commented on Nov 3

      Full Disclosure: I am a Canadian with lots of cards that have PINs.
      One of the Banks arguments against PINs from the article is that using a PIN
      would slow the customer down and tend to drive them towards another form
      of payment……HUH?
      Sure thing …like writing a cheque?, or fumbling with cash and change?
      Unbe-flirting-lievable !!

    • rd commented on Nov 3

      Your problem is that you live in a reality-based world. Living data- and-reality-free is much more effective.

    • rd commented on Nov 3

      This is why we need to expand the military budget. Freedom doesn’t come cheap (neither does graft and corruption).

  7. Jojo commented on Nov 2

    October 29, 2015
    Technology Device Ownership: 2015,/b>

    68% of Americans have smartphones; 45% have tablet computers. Ownership of other digital devices has not grown in recent years.

    By Monica Anderson

    Today, 68% of U.S. adults have a smartphone, up from 35% in 2011, and tablet computer ownership has edged up to 45% among adults, according to newly released survey data from the Pew Research Center.1 Smartphone ownership is nearing the saturation point with some groups: 86% of those ages 18-29 have a smartphone, as do 83% of those ages 30-49 and 87% of those living in households earning $75,000 and up annually.

    At the same time, the surveys suggest the adoption of some digital devices has slowed and even declined in recent years.


  8. VennData commented on Nov 2

    Trump campaign to negotiate directly with TV networks on debate formats


    1) All questions must start with “You’re the greatest because…”

    2) Net Worth issues must be framed in terms of tens of billions.

    3) No Liberals

    4) Closeups = Yes

    5) Syndication rights travel with any takeovers a current prorata share of whole-entity revenues

    6) Moderator list: Larry Kudlow, Jesse Ventura, my lawyers.

    7) Prime Time, Baby.

    8) Any Gotcha’s and you’ll be talking to one of the moderators

  9. willid3 commented on Nov 2

    so why doesnt the ‘media’ just boycott the GOP ‘candidates’, and wait till the GOP finally selects a ‘candidate’ some time next year, before they decide to interview them. that way they can money and headaches dealing the pack. course its corporate media, so they need the ‘circus’

    • Jojo commented on Nov 2

      Because they want the candidate advertising $$$! This is what the circus is all about. This is why the media is happy to expand campaign season (same as with many holidays). It’s all about the $$$.

  10. rd commented on Nov 2

    Hold the phone! Maybe Antarctica isn’t the cause of sea level rise!


    BTW – it was quite a while ago, but I have seen speculation that continental glaciation in the Ice Ages started during periods of warmer climate because there was more water vapor in the air that could precipitate as thick snow. A really cold couple of years (maybe like the Year without Summer in 1816 due to a volcanic eruption) would not melt the previous year’s snowfall and a “virtuous cycle” of the snow reflecting heat in the summer, cooling the area would then start to build up an ice sheet. So the concept that a continental ice sheet could be gaining snow and ice during a period of global warming is not unrealistic.

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